Canadian River Vineyards & Winery is located in Lexington, Oklahoma. Lexington is just south of Norman. It wasn’t on our original list, but after so many hiccups, we decided to wing it. It was worth it. The atmosphere was amazing and the tasting room was packed, but the locals made us feel more than welcome to squeeze in. As their website states, the wine list is constantly changing, so I cannot even share their tasting notes.
This wine has a lovely brown edge to it and deep rich color. It smells like Lyle’s Dark Golden Syrup – which if you aren’t familiar with that particular British food product, think of it as a combination of dark Karo syrup, honey, molasses and dark brown sugar. It’s a think sweet scent, but not overpowering. The wine itself is sweet enough that had I not known it was a Merlot, I would have guessed it was fortified. It has just enough acidity to remind you it’s a Merlot, but not too much. Not surprising since this Merlot is oaked.
Try this Merlot with leftover roast, potatoes and carrots. Actually it would be a good Merlot to use to make the Sunday roast. (If you aren’t adding a deep red wine to your pot roast in the oven, you’re missing out.)
The wine has a unique smell – almost “new car smell” – which basically means leather. This wine has an orange edge to it, which fits well with the tinned tomato paste taste. I know that sounds tacky, but let’s face it some of the best Southern recipes call for canned tomato paste. It just has a unique flavor that gives the meatloaf the right spice.
It’s a bit salty of a wine for me, so I can see this going with your Monday meatloaf, or maybe Tuesday’s pulled pork sandwiches (from Sunday leftovers, of course).
This is a very sweet, sweeter than honey, sweet white wine. It has a vanilla note to the scent, but smells a bit like a Pinot Gris. There is almost no acidity to this wine. The finish is clear, like having just had a sip of cold water.
One individual in the tasting room said they could lose count of the number of glasses they drank. I would agree. It’s a porch pounder. Just make sure your cousins know it has a higher alcohol content than a seltzer, or they could end up with a headache. Or if you don’t really like your cousins all that much the don’t tell them… but if you don’t – don’t waste this wine on them.
This wine took me a while to figure out. The scent bothered me for a bit. It was like soap suds and overripe fruit. I finally put my finger on it – it smells and tastes like gooseberry. This would explain the bitter and tart, but crisp grape flavor. Gooseberry’s look a bit like striped grapes. I didn’t know their cultivation was once banned in the US. [source] But tht would explain how I really got to know them only on my trips to Europe.
If you’ve read my other posts on Rieslings, you know it’s not one of my favorites. However, I found this one to be very drinkable, unlike other Rieslings. I could see serving it as a dessert wine, maybe with a strawberry-rhubarb pie (or crumble).
This was another sweet-tart wine. Both the smell and taste were high on sugar, nectarine and fresh strawberries. There’s a bit of a green apple scent to it. And I just love the color, which is really similar to the Strawberry Road.
This is a I’ve had a really long hard Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday kind of wine. Actually this is the “this conference call sucks” wine.
This is a beautiful hot pink color, much like the blush above. It has a really good strawberry flavor – think strawberries when they’ve been crushed and mixed with sugar to make jam, but before the jam solidifies.
I’d put this with a baked pork loin basted with peach jam. Or Mahi Mahi or swordfish steaks cooked on the grill with a tropical salsa. The sweet of the wine will balance the acidity of the fish and the jalapeno in the salsa will just enhance the sweetness of the wine.
I liked the description I heard “California Wine with an Oklahoma Twist.” Truthfully, I think that should be Canadian River’s tag line.
I actually brought a bottle of Strawberry Road home with me. Had I just picked from the list of wines available, I probably would have ignored it. Despite the Merlot and Cab being solid reds and the white and blush being good contenders for book club on the back porch, Strawberry Road has a hidden secret pairing. I’ll tell you more about that in the write-up on flight two.